On a small stretch of land just one hour north of San Francisco sits a little hidden gem of an area called the Point Reyes National Seashore. This area is famous for its picturesque lighthouse, epic hiking trails, fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities, and the unmissable chance to gorge on local cheeses and oysters.
If you’re ready for a day filled with local culture, coastal scenery, rolling hills, wildlife, and really good food, then a Point Reyes day trip or weekend adventure is THE adventure you’ve been waiting for!
While a lot can be seen in just a day, there are some major perks to traveling slower and spending a night or two by the seashore. If that sounds like you and you’re looking to pair a Point Reyes National Seashore adventure with an overnight stay, you’re in the right place.
There are a ton of great accommodation options both in Point Reyes Station as well as in neighboring towns in Marin County.
Below are some of the best hotels, bed & breakfasts, and campgrounds in the Point Reyes area!
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Hotels And B&B’s In Point Reyes, CA
1. Olema House
Olema House is hands-down the best luxury hotel in the area. It’s situated right between Bolinas and Point Reyes Station, just a 15-minute walk to Point Reyes National Seashore. If you’re looking for that quintessential rustic countryside retreat, this hotel really needs to be on your bucket list.
Its location is seriously perfect, being just on the outskirts of Point Reyes National Seashore!
But don’t just take my word for it! Olema House was actually named not only the Top Hotel in Northern California but also the Top Hotel in the US in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for 2020!
In addition to the beautifully designed rooms and stylish common areas, there is also an on-site farm-to-table restaurant and bar that dates back to 1865.
2. Nick’s Cove
Did you know that this popular oyster bar and restaurant, Nick’s Cove Restaurant, also features luxurious cottages you can stay in overnight too? Nick’s Cove is located in Marshall, California not too far away from Point Reyes.
Along with your stay, you’ll get a gourmet continental breakfast prepared and delivered to your cottage daily.
Each room has unique features such as wood-burning stoves, rustic wood furnishings, red and green accents, or deep clawfoot tubs. Some even overlook the water and showcase Hog Island views. Each spacious cottage also features heated tile floors and includes cozy terry robes for use!
One of the best features of your stay will of course be the restaurant! You can enjoy the locally sourced oysters in a fine dining, yet casual atmosphere, then follow it up with a drink or two at the bustling bar area!
3. Private Treetop Cabin
This cozy treetop cabin is the vacation home rental for the couple that wants to feel like they are a million miles away in total privacy yet close to everything.
The cabin enjoys absolute privacy as it is located at the very end of a street on 2 private acres surrounded by the National Seashore. The home is located in a flat area of Point Reyes, yet elevated in the treetops, making it very sunny and bright with panoramic views of the National Park.
Though you’ll feel like you are miles away from civilization, you are conveniently located 1 mile from downtown Point Reyes and 2 miles from the village of Inverness.
Guests are also provided with tennis racquets and tennis balls and the key to a private tennis court 2 miles away.
4. Fox Lodge in Point Reyes/Inverness
Fox Lodge is perfect for larger groups looking for a private, rustic experience to pair with their Point Reyes adventures. This 4 bedroom / 3 bathroom house is situated on the Inverness Ridge overlooking the Olema Valley.
Truly a home away from home, this modern, charming and rustic home is perfect for people who love staying in as much as they love exploring the outdoors. It’s the ideal stay for families or couples who want the luxury of an exclusive inn, but the size and privacy of a large home.
One of the best things in this house is definitely the kitchen–an open, true California-style kitchen with a wrap-around sunny breakfast nook loaded with pillows and cushions to seat ten for coffee and snacks!
5. Mermaid’s House
Mermaid’s House is such a cool home for rent. If you’re looking to pair your weekend in Point Reyes with a vacation home that is highly reminiscent of being on a boat, this is where you’ll want to stay.
Located right on the waterfront of pristine Tomales Bay, Mermaid’s House is decorated similarly to the interior of an actual boat, making it a picturesque and extremely fun getaway!
Other than the nautically themed walls and the giant glass windows, there is nothing between you and the picturesque Point Reyes National Seashore.
Complete with a grassy front yard, a large deck with a hot tub, and its own pier, the Mermaid’s House makes for a fun stay both inside and out. You’ll be able to enjoy sunsets and world-famous oysters on the deck as well as be really close to some great kayaking on the bay!
There are two suites at The Mermaid’s House, “Admiral’s Quarters” and “Crew Quarters”, separated by a 20-foot entryway. Each suite has its own private deck and private hot tub.
6. Point Reyes Vineyard Inn
If you’re looking for a quiet and tucked-away retreat at a small family-run inn, Point Reyes Vineyard Inn is just that.
This Mediterranean-style inn was originally a three-bedroom home that was converted into an inn to house travelers looking to explore the majesty of the Point Reyes area. The three rooms feature charming decor and beautiful views overlooking the vineyards.
The rest of the house is very lovely with lots of room to relax outside of the bedrooms as well. Head right outside to enjoy views of Inverness Ridge and West Marin’s rolling hills as you explore the property’s tranquil courtyard complete with a koi pond.
Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Lighthouse, and many hiking trails are just a short drive away.
7. Point Reyes Country Inn and Stables
Point Reyes Country Inn and Stables can be a whole weekend experience in itself. Located just minutes from hiking, beaches and restaurants, this five-room inn sits on four spacious acres just a mile from Point Reyes Station and from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.
As a hotel guest, your mornings will begin with gourmet coffee and a complimentary gourmet breakfast basket made with local and seasonal produce. French doors open onto a large, sunny deck with expansive views of Inverness Ridge. Every room has a view and an outdoor space in the form of private balconies or garden patios.
After breakfast, feel free to wander over to the stables and visit the horses, followed by a hike that can be started right from the property to the Tomales Bay trailhead.
Convenient horse stabling is also available to guests who want to bring their horses along for trail riding. Should this be something you can take advantage of, simply use their online booking calendar to book a horse stall with your room!
8. Straus Home Ranch
Looking for an unforgettable farmhouse stay? At Straus Home Ranch, you’ll be able to stay in an immaculately-designed renovated 150-year-old farmhouse.
The Straus Home Ranch is a 4 bedroom masterpiece that makes for a great getaway ideal for family reunions, wedding parties, bachelorette parties, and other group getaways of ~10 people.
This is the perfect place to slow down and get away from it all. Sit on the upper deck with a morning coffee or evening drinks to soak in the views of the water or take an afternoon nap in the hammock. You’ll also find lots of board games, lawn games, puzzles, yoga gear, and a library to keep you entertained throughout your stay.
Want to head out into the wild instead? Hike the Point Reyes National Seashore, kayak on Tomales Bay, take a birding tour, or even a walking tour of the ranch.
Love to cook? Do not miss the opportunity to use their fully equipped farmhouse-style kitchen, perfect for anything from shucking oysters to cooking up a storm. There are two shared full bathrooms (one upstairs and one downstairs).
9. La Sirena Oceanfront At Stinson Beach
If you don’t mind staying a bit farther away from Point Reyes National Seashore, a very good alternative area to consider staying in is Stinson Beach, CA. Stinson Beach is located just 25 minutes away from Point Reyes Station, so rest assured you won’t be driving for hours on end to start your day by the seashore.
La Sirena is a bright and charming one-bedroom apartment getaway. Adjacent to this apartment is another one-bedroom rental unit, which shares the backyard fire pit and patio. It’s an easy walk to town, yet private enough to give you complete oceanfront cottage vibes.
The apartment is beautiful inside and out. Enjoy prepping meals in the fully equipped kitchen while listening to waves breaking on the beach–and don’t forget to take in the beautiful views!
You can literally melt and watch some of the best sunsets from the large ocean-facing windows! Really, the oceanfront view is amazing morning, noon, and night.
Another huge perk of staying here is being able to explore the beautiful West Marin area. La Sirena is a great starting point for walks on the beach, mountain biking, and hiking. The charming village of Stinson Beach features shops, art galleries, and restaurants specializing in fresh local food.
10. Hotel Petaluma, Ascend Hotel Collection
If you’re looking for more affordable accommodation or lodging that’s more reminiscent of the city life, staying in Petaluma, CA is a great option.
Petaluma, one of the largest cities in Sonoma County, is located just 30 minutes (20 miles) from Point Reyes Station. This town has a lot going on, from its growing craft beer scene to its interesting museums, farms, and outdoor spaces perfect for exploring.
Hotel Petaluma, Ascend Hotel Collection is our favorite hotel in the area!
Hotel Petaluma offers comfortable, private rooms in the renovated Historic Hotel, built back in 1923. This hotel’s location is so convenient, as restaurants, markets, shops, and transit options are right outside. Being a historic gem of a hotel in such a central location, do note that parking is street only.
There is a 54-seat oyster bar and restaurant located on-site at the hotel, The Shuckery at Hotel Petaluma. In addition, Barber Cellars, the first tasting room in downtown Petaluma, is here too. The tasting room offers wine and cheese tastings from local producers.
If this hotel does not float your boat, check out some of the other hotels in Petaluma–there are a lot of boutique hotels and other cheap hotels to choose from.
Campgrounds In Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Point Reyes National Seashore only offers backcountry hike-in and boat-in camping. If you’re up for a hiking adventure to get to your backcountry campsite, check out the below.
Coast Campground is one of five hike-in campgrounds within the park and the one we recommend most out of the bunch. This is one of the more popular hike-in campgrounds because it provides such convenient access to the beach!
Coast Camp is nestled within a small grassy valley with easy access to the Limantour Beach and tide pools just a quick walk away.
There are 12 regular tent sites that can accommodate 1 to 6 people and 2 larger group sites that fit 7-25 people. Campsites are available for reservations through Recreation.gov.
There are multiple hiking routes that’ll take you to Coast Campground, but we recommend the shortest route starting from the Laguna Trailhead just past the local hostel. You’ll hike a little less than 2 miles slightly uphill hike on the Laguna and Firelane Trails to reach the campground.
Features 12 regular sites located deep within a wooded valley protected from ocean breezes. The closest beach is 2.5-miles away. The shortest route to Glen Camp is via a 4.6-mile hike from the Bear Valley Trailhead.
There are 11 regular sites and one group site, all located on the western side of Mount Wittenberg at an elevation of 1025 feet. On a good day, you’ll get sweeping views of Point Reyes, Drakes Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.
The easiest and shortest way to get there is a 1.4-mile moderate uphill hike or bicycle ride from the Sky Trailhead via Sky Trail.
Wildcat Camp is one of the more rugged campgrounds in the area, offering seven camping sites in an open meadow on a bluff overlooking the ocean. While it is a short walk to the beach and to Alamere Falls, it does take some effort to get to.
It is a 6.3-mile hike from Bear Valley Trailhead or a 5.5-mile hike from the Palomarin Trailhead. Camping is by backcountry permit only which you can get on Recreation.gov.
Tomales Bay has 20 primitive sites that are first-come, first-serve. This campsite is unique in that it only has boat-in access.
Campers on Tomales Bay beaches must arrive by boat and may not hike, bike, or ride horses to the beaches. All Tomales Bay boat-in camping permits are available for reservations through Recreation.gov 3 months to the day in advance.
Essential Tips For Your Point Reyes Trip
- Dress in layers and expect any type of element from rain, wind, fog, clouds, and sunshine–all in one day.
- Point Reyes is the windiest and foggiest place on the west coast, especially during the summer. Be sure to check the weather forecast and even use the Point Reyes Beach live webcam to check visibility on the coast.
- Since you’ll probably be hiking on some trails, make sure to wear sturdy shoes with traction, a hat, and sunscreen.
- While in the Point Reyes National Seashore area, you will most likely not have phone service. Make sure you’ve downloaded your maps app to work offline. Or go the old-fashioned route and pick up a map at the visitor center!
- Plan your trip for midweek or plan to arrive early in the morning so you can beat the crowds. If that’s not possible, be sure to have a Plan B in mind. If you’re not early enough, you may face a situation where you arrive at your hike’s trailhead and the parking lot is already full! You’ll want a backup hike in situations like this.
- Point Reyes has great wildlife sighting opportunities, but be sure to observe wildlife respectfully and from a distance.
Your Essential Packing List: Point Reyes, CA
Aside from the usual clothing and toiletries you’d pack for any regular trip, here are the things I’d recommend you not leave home without on your Point Reyes road trip:
- License and registration | This is a no-brainer, but always good to check you have all documents before it’s too late and you get too far away from home. Do NOT leave home without them. They are road trip essentials!
- Spare Tire | In addition to carrying a spare tire with you, don’t forget to check your current tire conditions before you set off as well.
- Roadside Emergency Kit | You never know what kind of car trouble you may encounter on the road. This kit contains 42 roadside emergency components, including jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight and batteries, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, poncho, cable ties, bandages, towelettes, and zipper-lock bags.
- Trunk Organizer | With any road trip comes lots and lots of stuff to pack. Keep your road trip essentials organized with a trunk organizer. Not only will this make it so much easier to find what you need, but it will also lead to more space in your trunk for you to pack other necessities.
- Flashlight | You never know when you’re going to be stranded on the road at night, out hiking late, or even exploring a dark cave. Leaving a flashlight in your car can really come in handy when you’re faced with unexpected situations.
- Umbrella | An umbrella, particularly a wind-proof umbrella, is crucial when traveling to destinations with varying/unpredictable weather. If you have an umbrella with you, then it means the rain can’t stop you from enjoying your trip and exploring the outdoors.
- Portable Cooler | Coolers are a must for any road trip. Not only will you be able to keep beverages cold and refreshing, but you will also be able to keep perishables fresh (like sandwiches, cheeses, and oysters!).
- First Aid Kit | It’s always good to carry a first aid kit around with you when traveling and hiking. Road trips make it easier to do this since all you need to do is toss it in the trunk! Note: This is not the same as the roadside emergency kit.
- Garbage Bags | Because you don’t want the inside of your car to resemble a dumpster can. Plastic bags (or garbage bags) can also be used to hold wet clothes if you get caught in the rain, go for a swim, etc.
- Hiking Boots | If you plan on hiking, bring well broken-in boots or walking shoes with good ankle support and good traction.
- Waterproof Rain Jacket | A lightweight waterproof rain jacket is critical for any outdoor adventure in the Point Reyes area. Since these weigh virtually nothing and are so easily packable, I recommend you carry one with you whenever you head outdoors. Depending on the weather forecast and chance of precipitation, I’ll either go with a rain shell or a puffier windbreaker. Despite the options I have here, one thing is for sure— I’m never without some sort of outer layer. My top recommendations are Marmot Men’s PreCip (for men) and The North Face Women’s Venture 2 Jacket (for women).
- Puffy Jacket | You’re going to need layers in Northern California. The coastal climates of the west coast bring chilly evenings year-round, even on warm summer days. You have a lot of options here, but I personally have the North Face Thermoball, and it’s kept me warm throughout my many years of outdoor adventuring!
- Daypack | I’m a fan of the Osprey Daylite Daypack. It has ample room for all the snacks and water you’ll need, as well as for your camera and the safety essentials for the hike.
- Hat, Bandana, or Buff | Sun protection is key for any outdoor destination. Keep the sun off your skin with a fancy sunhat, bandana, or a Buff. All three can be used to shield your neck or forehead from the sun. As a bonus, bandanas and Buffs can be used as headbands to keep hair and sweat off of your face. Soak your bandana or Buff then put it on your head, face, or neck for a quick cool down.
- Portable Power Bank | You’re probably going to be out all day, snapping away taking pictures, GPSing to all the great landmarks and eateries… the last thing you want is to be stranded with no phone battery! A portable power bank is a must-have, and Anker’s ultra-light, ultra-portable power bank is tried and true by so many travelers! I never embark on a day of exploration without it.
- Soft Hydration Flask | Stay hydrated throughout the day with a water bottle that can go anywhere with you—and fold up when not in use. I love the packability of these bottles!
- Medications | Motion sickness pills for those windy roads, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, etc.
And that concludes our post on some of the best places to stay in the Point Reyes National Seashore area. We hope you enjoyed the extra travel tips in this post and were able to find the perfect accommodation option to elevate your Point Reyes adventure! Happy travels!
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